My paintings have always been about the paint. The essence of my work deals with fleeting glimpses of the landscape, finding the energy and power of nature a strong stimulus and inspired by the Connemara countryside in particular but the Irish countryside in general.
Working with oils on canvas, board or paper, I paint in a layering, sketching process. This goes through various stages of hiding and revealing, eventually resulting in an abstracted view of the landscape. You can sense references to rocks, bogs, sea and sky and you need to take a closer look to appreciate the layers and textures.
For me, time to paint is precious. It’s my time for contemplation and to immerse myself away from everyday life. And as such my paintings are about time - making time, remembering time, wasting time and sparing time. In some ways, they are also about place, a feeling or a memory of being emotionally immersed in a landscape and escaping, lost in a moment. When I paint I am immersed in the painterly experience, and as such the resulting work is meditative for both the artist and observer. It can remind you of a place, a time, or a feeling and be momentarily lost in it.
My painting process starts by creating a ground with thinned-out washes of oil paint. Creating drips and splashes along the way. With thicker more opaque paint I work instinctively, painting out certain areas, or enhancing others, editing until a composition begins to emerge. Using brushes, rags or palettes knives I will either define some areas or hide others, creating soft layers with the illusion of texture. I'm fascinated with the possibilities of paint, what happens to it as you mix it with different mediums and add it to the canvas. Sometimes it’s about pushing the paint around the canvas willing it into place, other times it’s thinking of how to transform the canvas into a feeling in time or the memory of a place.
I usually work on a number of canvases at the same time. Each one informing the next, thereby creating a series. My palette is inspired by the Connemara landscape, its ever-changing light and colour, and whilst I may start out using reds and greens I’m always amazed at how I return to blue.